Employees are the core of any business. They need tools, and resources, and be up to date with the latest skills and training necessary to execute their roles, improve output and increase performance for an organisation’s success. Establishing a budget for employee learning and development is a must for any business. But economies are in recession and budgets are tight. Here are a few things you can do to convince your employer to invest in a training budget for you and your team.

What is a training budget?

A training budget refers to all the direct and indirect (travel, accommodation, materials, resources, training plans, facilitator fees, courses, and contingencies) costs related to training personnel in an organisation. It is a guide for how allocated funds will be used over the duration of the fiscal year. It also ensures that the company receives a good return on investment (ROI) and that there is no overspending or misuse of the budget on other unrelated and unnecessary activities.

Benefits of investing in a training budget

Many companies are trimming costs across departments and for many activities. Therefore, you need to highlight the benefits that setting money aside for training will have on both the staff and the company. Here are a few advantages of having a training budget:

  • Prevents a learning plateau. When employees feel like they have reached their peak, they will explore external opportunities.
  • Increases company loyalty. Staff who feel a company invests in their development won’t be moved to leave.
  • Helps business achieve goals. Well-trained personnel have better performance and increased productivity, helping a business meet its targets.
  • Time saver. Skilled workers need less supervision on tasks thereby saving time on solving issues and redoing tasks.
  • Boosts morale. Teams have better cohesion and improve the work environment and company stability.

Things to consider when requesting a training budget

  1.     The objectives

Having money to spend is great. But what are the objectives and goals of this spending? You need to communicate how skills training aligns with the company’s business strategies. You need to know what the business hopes to achieve and how investing in the programme will bring them closer to meeting the goals.

  1.     Employee feedback

It’s important that you extract valuable information from employees that provide feedback on their current experiences within the company. This survey should answer key questions like what their needs are, which areas they feel are lacking, tasks that are challenging and take up time to do, which skills they believe they need to perform better, what work processes need improvement, and what they think competitors are doing.

This information will help HR decide on the most appropriate training for employees and if necessary, space out the training and who can go for these sessions and come back and train the rest of their team.

  1.     Explore scenarios

Fluctuating economies and unforeseen circumstances like the coronavirus pandemic taught us that anything can happen. Demonstrate how as a business, your employer needs to be prepared for changing and challenging situations. Investing in skills development and training can help them prepare for such eventualities because you are equipped with and know how to maximise the features and use communication tools as one example.

6 ways to convince your employer on having a training budget

Before walking through the doors of your Human Resources department to state your case, you need a plan and to be prepared to answer questions you’ll undoubtedly receive after your pitch.

  1.     Make it about the business

Businesses are about money as much as they are about people. Be clear on how the training will benefit the business. The certifications will be in your name but what effect and ROI will it have on your employer? What is the value added for your business? How else, besides the bottom line, will your undergoing training benefit them?

  1.     Highlight the need

Some employers may be under the impression that their employees are okay and have everything they need to do their job. You need to highlight from your research, the trends in your field, how the market is changing, and how you need to improve your skills to keep up with the changes and developments. Explain the pressure points you are experiencing in your day-to-day to help you build a stronger case.

  1.     Time sensitivity

Technology is advancing quicker than most of us can keep up with. Let your employer know of the different tools, features, and technologies that are coming up, how these affect your job, and how having the training to use these will make you perform better and faster. Using version 2.0 of a tool when the rest of the world is on version 7.0 will leave you behind.

  1.     Actions after training

What will you do once you’ve completed your training? What impact will the training have on you and your team and department? Come with backup research on the link between skills development sessions and the changes your evolved skillset will bring. Reinforce your loyalty to the company.

  1.     Adopt a SMART approach

It would help to approach your training budget request as a business case. Set your proposal up in a way that covers Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals. Go one step further and have previous successful case studies of the positive outcomes training has had on teams and the organisation as an example to support your request.

  1.     Anticipate pushback

Pushback is not necessarily your company saying they don’t want to provide training, but they don’t have the funds. Have answers, solutions, examples, and compromises to share with your employer if their first answer is no. if your employer simply can’t afford for your entire team to undergo training through an Ivy-League university like Harvard, Alison offers a world-renowned FREE Learning Management System (LMS) that ticks all the right boxes.

  • Create your Free LMS. Create your own individualised learning paths for your staff based on the needs of your organisation.
  • They can keep track. Your employer can monitor your team’s progress with daily, weekly, or monthly reports.

There are essential skills every employee of every organization should have. As a business, investing funds geared to employee training is a must for any organisation that wants to keep up with a competitive and evolving market, retain staff, and position itself as an attractive employer for high-quality candidates.

When you’re ready, prepare a presentation and schedule a meeting. Good luck!

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